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When my husband and I met, we realized quickly that we both had different money habits. We both wanted to get on the same page so we decided to go through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We both had debt and realized this could present some pressure on our marriage and we wanted to make sure we had a good start.
Financial problems in marriage is one of the main common marriage problems. As the saying goes “money is what makes the world go round” and not being able to spend money on the things you want to spend it on significantly increases the levels of stress in a relationship. The reality is, you need money to pay for your basic needs and you need money to put away for your future. If you owe too many people and companies, you won’t have enough for your future and the future of your children.
It is particularly hard when couples:
- First get together after having it easy living at home.
- Have experienced living on their own well into adulthood.
- Have children or having a new baby.
- Have to live off one income because one person lost their job.
- Have let their finances get out of control.
- Have the responsibility of taking care of aging parents.
You must have more coming in than going out. It is so easy for spending to get out of control. I know so many people who just spend and spend, leave nothing for a rainy day and get deeper and deeper into debt. This is one thing Nate and I discussed early in our relationship. He will admit that he would spend money taking care of everyone else but himself and his future. He realized the importance of always keep a little back as it avoids all the stress when that unexpected bill comes in!
When money is short, stress levels rise and with increased stress levels comes the constant bickering, the blame culture and other relationship issues start to arise. Financial problems in a marriage just compound marital problems and small things that were never previously an issue start to come to a head.
Husbands and wives must be on one accord and in agreement as it relates to how to handle finances. When husband and wife do not have the same opinions as far as the family finances are concerned, financial problems in a marriage become a far greater issue. The couple needs to understand that personal finances have to be managed, expenditure planned and bills met even in harder times. They need to learn to focus on the real issue at hand, which is money, and not start picking at other aspects of the marriage which wouldn’t have previously been a problem.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Trying to get your spouse to curb their spending habits is difficult especially when you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel but, if you don’t take control of your finances the problem will just escalate and escalate until it is totally out of control.
You have to stop living beyond your means, take control of your finances now and make sure you understand what cash is coming in and what is going out. Write it down, see it in black and white and then eliminate as much of the unnecessary expenses and debt as you possibly can.
Consolidate any loans you may have but look at the small print, don’t go to companies that are going to rip you off, make sure you shop around. Choosing the wrong loan can be extremely costly and mean more time paying it off. Every penny spent on interest is money that could have been yours to do with as you please!
Set your budget so you can cover repayments plus a bit more, find ways to cut back and stick to it. If you can cope with paying the loan back quicker then do it. It may be hard in the short term but in the longer term it delivers exceptional rewards. Remember, higher repayments means less interest and more money in your pocket at the end of time!
Oh! And if you want to resolve financial problems in a marriage don’t forget one golden rule that will sort your finances out that much quicker – limit credit cards. If you have to have one then limit it to the one and clear the balance at the end of the month.
Don’t leave debt on your credit card unless of course its 0% finance – remember 0% means money in your pocket. Again don’t miss the small print and end up paying interest on everything you buy thereafter – transfer your balance onto a new card, make use of the 0% finance but don’t buy anything else using that card.
If you can’t stick to the rules and only spend what you can easily clear at the end of each month rip up every card you have. Don’t increase the amount you owe!!
If you want to save your marriage resolve those financial problems before they take over your life.
Has your marriage experience financial strain due to your different financial philosophies? Share how it impacted your marriage and how you were able to move past it.